Friday, 05 Jun 2020

2017 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering Awarded to 18 Researchers

LOS ALTOS, Calif: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation named 18 of the nation's most innovative, early-career scientists and engineers as recipients of the 2017 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. Each Fellow will receive USD 875,000 over five years to pursue their research.

The Packard Fellowships are among the nation's largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed to allow maximum flexibility in how the funding is used. Packard Fellows have gone on to achieve significant accomplishments, receiving additional awards and honors that include the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Fields Medal, the Alan T. Waterman Award, MacArthur Fellowships, and elections to the National Academies. Their work has led to impressive research outcomes, including the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique, sequencing the Ebola virus genome, the creation of Bose-Einstein condensates, and pioneering research on glaciology and abrupt climate change.

"These scientists and engineers are tackling unanswered questions and pushing the boundaries of their fields," said Frances Arnold, Chair of the Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel and former Packard Fellow, of this year's class. "Their innovations could lead to breakthroughs in how we live our lives and our understanding of nature. Is there another planet in our solar system? Can we find a way to predict earthquakes? Can learning more about how we make memories help us preserve them? If past fellowships are any indication, the possibilities are boundless."

Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded $394 million to support 577 scientists and engineers from 54 national universities. The Fellowships program was inspired by David Packard's commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in the United States, recognizing that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, was derived in large measure from research and development in university laboratories.

This year, the Foundation increased its overall grant budget in response to new challenges to promote stronger national support for science and greater reliance on evidence-based decision-making. The Packard Foundation's work is grounded in science and research to ensure the Foundation's investments have lasting impact.

"David Packard was passionate about investing in our country's scientists and engineers because he believed philanthropy could play a unique role in sparking discovery," said Lynn Orr, Packard Fellows Advisory Panel member and former Foundation Trustee. "Unrestricted, flexible funding, coupled with support from universities, the public sector, industry, and nonprofit organizations provides scientists and engineers creative space to unearth new knowledge."

The Packard Foundation established the Fellowships program in 1988. Each year, the Foundation invites 50 universities to nominate two faculty members for consideration. The Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel, a group of 12 internationally-recognized scientists and engineers, evaluates the nominations and recommends Fellows for approval by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees.

Packard Fellows must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators on research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering, and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Disciplines that are considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science and all branches of engineering.

The recipients of the 2017 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering are:

Jonathan C. Barnes
Department of Chemistry, Washington University, St. Louis
Discipline: Chemistry

Konstantin Batygin
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Discipline: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology

Michael Birnbaum
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Discipline: Biological Sciences

Ilana Brito
School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Discipline: Biological Sciences

Marine A. Denolle
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
Discipline: Geosciences

Elaine Hsiao
Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles
Discipline: Biological Sciences

Pinshane Huang
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Discipline: Materials Science, Nanotechnology

Christoph M. Keplinger
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder
Discipline: Engineering - Civil or Mechanical

Alexie S. Leauthaud-Harnett
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz
Discipline: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology

Nir M. Navon
Department of Physics, Yale University
Discipline: Physics

Hosea M. Nelson
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
Discipline: Chemistry

Magdalena R. Osburn
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University
Discipline: Geosciences

John V. Pardon
Department of Mathematics, Princeton University
Discipline: Mathematics

Mikael C. Rechtsman
Department of Physics, Pennsylvania State University
Discipline: Physics

Amir Safavi-Naeini
Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University
Discipline: Physics

Annabelle C. Singer
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Discipline: Neuroscience

Michael Yartsev
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley
Discipline: Neuroscience

Laurence Yeung
Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Rice University
Discipline: Geosciences

(PRN | 3 years ago)